Anorexia girl tells of torment

Anorexia survivor Megan Armer started dieting at the age of four and reached 4st 3lbs at her lowest ebb.

Surviving on diet coke, chewing gum and laxatives, Megan endured three stays in a hospital unit before she started to recover from the devastating illness.

Now aged 18, the pretty blonde has reached a healthy weight and is studying on a cabin crew course in a bid to achieve her dream of becoming an air hostess.

And on March 5, she will celebrate her recovery by taking part in a sponsored skydive in aid of eating disorder charity B-eat.

Megan, of Seacroft, Leeds, said: "I was four when I started on my first diet. I had gone to the park with my mum and grandma and a girl told me to get off the climbing frame because I was too fat.

"I was bullied a lot in primary school and then in secondary school because of my weight. People said I was fat and I would look in the mirror and believe them.

"In those younger years, I didn't really lose much weight because I didn't know what I was doing. But when I was 12, I decided I had to take it up to the next level.

"I started eating less and exercising more and I lost weight, which made me happy. But then my weight plateaued and I felt I had to do more."

To lose more and more weight, Megan would take dozens of laxatives at a time; complete fitness videos up to four times a day and run for several miles.

She also barely ate, relying mainly on Diet Coke and chewing gum for

energy.

When Megan's parents noticed that she had lost a lot of weight, they

took her to her GP, who recommended her for counselling.

But Megan continued losing weight and was admitted to Littlewood House

Hall, a Leeds General Infirmary unit for people with eating disorders, at the age of 13.

She remained there for six months but admits that when she was discharged, she used "trickery" to convince staff and her parents that she was over the worst.

Megan said: "It was horrible staying in there. You had to remain in bed at all times, you got fed six meals a day and you had to be accompanied at all times, even to the toilet."

When she was discharged, Megan said she lost all the weight she had gained within six weeks and was swiftly sent back to the unit.

She soon began to self-harm, attempting suicide several times.

According to Megan, it was during her second stay when she had a "wake up call".

She said: "It made me think about how I wanted to fulfil my dream of being cabin crew, which gave me a reason to get better.

"I decided that I wanted a life and a career and that I didn't want to die."

After her third stay at Littlewood House Hall, Megan finally began to recover with the help of her boyfriend of three years, Jason, who she met through one of her friends at the unit.

She started her cabin crew course at Leeds City College in 2009 and said she is concentrating on the future, which involves helping Beat, a charity which helped her during her illness.

Megan will do her sponsored skydive over Bridlington on March 5 and is hoping to raise at least 400 for B-eat.

She said: "I want to look at the positives now because I just turned 18 last month and I feel like I've turned a corner.

"If there was one piece of advice I would give to any young girls, it would be to get advice about any weight or body issues before it's too late. Don't suffer in silence because people are there to help."

To sponsor Megan, visit www.justgiving.com/megan-armer.

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